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Topics - nosh [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Firefox 3 Screencast
« on: June 08, 2008, 05:25 AM »
Here's a really well made screencast showcasing the main new features of Firefox 3.

[ Playtime: 03:46   7.69 MB ]

Thanks, Ghacks.

Oracle is shipping their own flavour of Linux for free, some of you penguins may want to take note. :)
Sign up here.

Source: [Digital Inspiration]

Any app that does this without much fuss? I need to split a few large files for the iPod - smaller files apparently go easier on power consumption.
Reply to this and do your bit to save the planet!

[Edit: Title fixed]

Developer's Corner / AutoHotKey: How to drag & drop _safely_
« on: April 18, 2008, 04:29 AM »
I've written a script to combine two of my favorite programs, AvaFind & Xplorer². The script selects the results (files) from Avafind and drops them to an X² scrap pane. It's running fine but since this is a drag-drop operation I would like to eliminate any risk of dragging the wrong source (and/or) to the wrong target. Both apps are positioned by the script before the drag-drop but if one doesn't load due to some errors or a third app gets focus at the wrong time the results could be potentially disastrous. 8)

And ideas how to eliminate this risk? Just ideas without code sample would be very welcome too.

; AvaFind small thumb preview in X2 scrap pane
IfWinActive ,ahk_class AUI40WndClass
{   WinActivate ,ahk_class AUI40WndClass
            WinMove 0,0
        ; preview pane running
   IfWinExist, scrap² - Avafind Preview.cida
   {       WinActivate, scrap² - Avafind Preview.cida
         WinMove, 1281,0
         Sleep, 300         
         Send {Alt}vpt
         Sleep, 300
         Send {Alt}vau
         WinActivate ,ahk_class AUI40WndClass
         Sleep, 300      
         Send ^a
         MouseClickDrag, L, 600, 130, 2470, 900
         WinActivate, scrap² - Avafind Preview.cida
         Sleep, 1000
         Send ^r         
   ; preview pane not started yet
      Run D:\Xplorer2\Avafind Preview.cida, , Max
      WinWait, scrap² - Avafind Preview.cida
      WinActivate, scrap² - Avafind Preview.cida
      WinMove, 1281,0
      Sleep, 300
      Send ^o
      Sleep, 300
      Send {Alt}vpt
      Sleep, 300
      Send {Alt}vad
      Sleep, 300      
      Send {Alt}vvr{{}pictures{}}{Enter}
      WinActivate ,ahk_class AUI40WndClass
      Sleep, 300            
      Send ^a
      MouseClickDrag, L, 600, 130, 2470, 900
      WinActivate, scrap² - Avafind Preview.cida
      Send ^r

; not Avafind - normal behavior
{   Send {F11}

A friend of a friend has been getting stalked for a while. Recently she and a friend both received the same email from each others addresses that neither of them has sent. She's going to call me up and I'll give her the usual drill about changing her pw from a new PC, hard to guess pw q&a, anti-keyloggers, etc but I suspect that their accounts may not have been hacked at all and the mails may just be spoofed to creep her out. They both still have access to their accounts and from the malicious track-record of the person stalking her, it seems highly unlikely he/she would allow this esp. after disclosing that the accounts have been "compromised". I myself have seen a few spam mails slip through the cracks to my inbox because they appear to be sent from the same address receiving them. Is there any way to tell an authentic mail from a spoofed one? Both parties use gmail.

Living Room / 1s y0ur $0n a c0#pu73r h3x0r??
« on: March 28, 2008, 03:05 AM »
Is Your Son a Computer Hacker?

Written with nothing but good intentions but some of the generalizations are rather hilarious.
Click on the line starting with the http:// scan code to read all about it on The Internets! (a web browser must be installed to accomplish hyper-linking!)

Would it make sense to run Firefox Portable instead of the regular non-portable version right off the HDD?

I read about an extension that lets us import/export settings for (most of) the existing extensions & intend to start a fresh profile from scratch. I was wondering if I should just go with FF portable - unless there's a performance hit involved! It would make backing things up so much simpler, not to mention the obvious advantage of having a fully configured portable version.

General Software Discussion / Tool for editing mp4 videos
« on: March 20, 2008, 02:21 AM »
I need to do some basic editing (cut & paste stuff) to a bunch of .mp4 videos before I move them to a PSP.  I looked at a few recommendations in the video editing threads but most of the intermediate level tools don't support mp4 all the way. I do all my editing with VirtualDub-MPEG2, it does let me edit the files but will only save them if I let it encode them to avi (which I then have to reconvert to mp4  :-\). Is there anything that'll let me do this in direct stream mode? I assume Premiere or Vegas may be up to the task but they seem like total overkill for this.

Living Room / USB Flash Drives: What to look for or avoid.
« on: February 26, 2008, 08:40 AM »
I'm probably picking up an 8GB pen drive tomorrow. Should I be looking for anything besides a good manufacturer? Or are they all plain vanilla - "one does no more or no less than the next"?

Living Room / Ralf Maximus - MIA?
« on: February 17, 2008, 04:39 PM »
Or simply put, where is Ralf?  :)

I thought he was one of DC's more entertaining/knowledgable members. I can't help but notice there's been no sign of him since the Codetrucker threads where things got a bit heated. I don't know him well enough to PM him  - so, where is Ralf?

General Software Discussion / "Interrupts" - killing my CPU!
« on: February 16, 2008, 08:56 AM »
My system really choked today while copying a few large files from a DVD on my machine to another PC on the network.
Process Explorer showed "Interrupts" lingering between 30 and 45(!)% CPU. I disabled the firewall which was eating another 20% but the PC still somewhat stuttered. Once the copying finished it immediately reached its normal idle state ~80% free. I realise hardware interrupts are integral to hardware access but is there some way to alleviate the situation? Perhaps a BIOS/firmware/system setting that could be tweaked? Maybe better quality media? :) I've never had the PC slow down this bad under similar circumstances in the past.

General Software Discussion / Divshare shuts out most of Asia
« on: February 05, 2008, 08:44 PM »


Just a heads-up to anyone who blogs and hosts files with their free service.

When oh when is Gdrive showing up?

General Software Discussion / Anyone using Silverlight?
« on: January 27, 2008, 01:42 AM »
I tried the Beta last year and I distinctly remember unpleasant things occurring  :), can't remember the specifics though - I know for sure that there were freezes/crashes involved. I'm just updating + backing up my system right now and it showed up as an optional component at MS Updates. I'm not installing it before imaging the system but am curious - what's the general consensus on Silverlight? Also, your take on Adobe Air... Adobe tends to remind me more and more of $ymantec these days... Reader bloat, etc. 

I change my DNS settings to the OpenDNS servers whenever the servers assigned by my ISP go down. I've noticed uTorrent keeps downloading even when my DNS servers are down, presumably coz I'm connected directly to some of the swarm.

I need two clarifications on this though:

1) Does a bittorrent client need a working DNS server to find new seeds/peers?

2) Does the performance of my DNS server affect my download speed? I'm asking coz I have a feeling my downloads are not as efficient when I'm using Open DNS as they are with my ISP's servers. If that's just a whim then I see no reason why I shouldn't stick with OpenDNS all the time.

Living Room / 2007: My 'Best of' list
« on: December 26, 2007, 10:27 AM »
Best movie seen:
Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no haka)
Grave of the Fireflies DVD.jpg
I watch a LOT of movies and would hardly rate any over an 8. I give 'Grave' a full 10 without any hesitation. It's a work of dedication and genius and is undoubtedly THE most powerful movie I've seen. I'm generally considered a cold b*****d by most people who know me but I feel no shame in admitting I had tears streaming down my face the first time I saw it. It still haunts me and I still choke up whenever I go back to watch a scene or two. Highly recommended if you don't mind seeing something beautiful but not necessarily upbeat.
(I'm referring to the 1988 animated version, Japanese audio with English subs )

Best book read:
I'm not much of a reader, and I certainly wasn't in 2007. My pick for this year is Frederick Forsyth's The Afghan. Not the greatest book I've read by far but a page-turned nonetheless. It's about a guy infiltrating the Al-Qaida. I guess contemporary themes are always interesting. I'd rate it a 6.5/10

Best thing on TV:
The Sopranos - Final season.

Best website discovered:
Like the best movie category, this one's a no-brainer. DonationCoder!!  :Thmbsup:
A big thanks to mouser & the rest of the DC gang - regulars, semi-regulars, software authors,
spammers (some of whom also belong to category 1 'regulars' - i keed! i keed!  ;D ) & anyone who posts here.

Best software discovered:
X2 wins. Hace MMM & Foobar2000 follows close behind.

Best hardware/gizmo bought:
Going from a 15" CRT to two 21" LCD monitors was truly an eye-opener (it's the season of giving, all cheap puns shall be pardoned!)

Please feel free to add your own categories if you like.

I have just three more things to say before I end...

Grave of the Fireflies - WATCH!!!

Grave of the Fireflies - WATCH!!!

Grave of the Fireflies - WATCH!!!!!!!!!

Merry X'mas Everyone!  8)

Two quick questions reg. DVD drives:

1. Is there any command or utility to close (pull in the tray of) a DVD drive?

2. Is there a utility that'll let me see a DVD LED, like there are for HDDs?

Developer's Corner / AHK: Checking if Firefox has open tabs
« on: December 17, 2007, 04:35 AM »
I'm a total AutoHotKey novice but hashed up the following script to close apps with "numpad enter".
There are a couple of exceptions though, the calculator (which I don't want to close with numpadenter, for obvious reasons) and Firefox where I close the active tab, rather than the app itself.


; Firefox gets a close tab command
     IfWinActive ,ahk_class MozillaUIWindowClass
     {      send ^w

; Calc gets normal behavior for a numpad enter
     IfWinActive ,ahk_class CALCVIEWCLASS
     {    send {Enter}

; Send Alt+F4 to everything else
 PostMessage, 0x112, 0xF060,,, A

I would additionally like to minimize Firefox if there is only a blank "Untitled" tab open, is there some hack to test for this?

General Software Discussion / How do you 'capture' a BSOD?
« on: December 16, 2007, 02:17 AM »
I recently faced some hardware issues with my dual monitor setup. Anytime I ran a graphics intensive program the display would get garbled before completely freezing, forcing me to hit the power button. On one of these occasions when I waited a little longer to reset the PC, a BSOD flashed very briefly and the PC complete froze again with a garbled display. I tried to emulate this a few times with a camera in my hand (feeling like a complete idiot, as you may have guessed) and having absolutely no luck. The problem was finally sorted out
by pulling out & reconnecting the RAM and graphics card and also connecting my primary monitor to the non-DVI outlet without the VGA-DVI adapter, I still don't know what exactly was at fault but the PC is running glitchlessly for several days now

but maybe I could have solved the matter a lot earlier if I could have viewed the BSOD. Are these pretty babies recorded somewhere (I looked for error.log or similarly named files to no avail) or is there some other way of getting this info?

General Software Discussion / Running an app if bandwidth use drops
« on: November 17, 2007, 12:30 PM »
If I leave my download manager on while using Firefox, the browsing is not that smooth. I generally stop the bandwidth guzzlers when I browse but then I forget to start them if I walk off the PC or start working on offline apps. I've been trying to figure out how to start a bandwidth guzzling app automatically when my bandwidth stays below a specific limit for a certain amount of time. I've managed to do this in a roundabout way using DShutdown (a powerful app with a messy interface) and an app built on my own system in conjunction. Dshutdown does exactly what I want but it's built with powering off the system as its primary purpose, so it disables itself once it starts the download manager. My app helps to overcome this limitation by re-enabling Dshutdown.

I stayed away from bandwidth throttling tools assuming they would stop my download manager going full speed when I'm not using the net. I was wondering if I did a poor job of reinventing the wheel here. Is there a cleaner/more straightforward way to achieve this?

Living Room / Multiple monitor setup - need some guidance
« on: November 02, 2007, 05:26 AM »
I have an Geforce FX5200 display card. It has three outputs: VGA, S-Video & DVI.
So far I have used the S-Video output for playing movies on television. I'm really not interested in this anymore but would like to hook up an additional LCD monitor. Since the monitor only has a standard VGA input, how should I go about it without buying a new card? Will I get adapter cables for S-Video to VGA or DVI to VGA, which of these is preferable? My main concern is getting some noise in the output because of an adapter. The TV output does have some interference which I tend not to notice after a while but with a PC monitor this would be unacceptable.

The other option I can think of is to hook up an old PCI adapter side-by-side. Would my primary adapter be less efficient if I connect two monitors to it? I know, lots of questions but I'm quite clueless when it comes to hardware. Any suggestions would be muchly appreciated. :)

Edit: How about a VGA splitter?

General Software Discussion / Oscar - Subtitle Download Client
« on: October 30, 2007, 03:12 AM »
Since there was some discussion relating to subtitles earlier, I just thought I'd give subtitle users a heads-up about Oscar, a really nice subtitle download client that makes an otherwise tedious task much easier.

General Software Discussion / Unique way to make Firefox load faster
« on: October 22, 2007, 01:47 PM »
This one's apparently been out there for long but I couldn't easily find a reference to it on DC.

The tip basically asks us to use upx to compress *.exe and *.dll in the main Firefox (installation) folder and *.dll in the "components" and "plugins" subfolders.   
I haven't timed it but I'm pretty certain Firefox actually does load faster after I upx'd the files.

If any of you go for it please note down your FF load time before compression so you can observe the difference and post your results here.


I've tried over 15 different movie database/organizer programs in the last four days in my quest for finding the best suited for my needs. I was surprised by the sheer number of programs available in this category.

I've narrowed down my choice to five six, no doubt there are other good programs in this category, some of which have been mentioned in this thread.

Four Five of the programs I've picked deserve a mention coz they're worth trying out once at the very least and may suit you best, depending on your requirements.
The fifth sixth, which I think is the winner, I've covered in a little more detail.

Special mentions in no particular order:

Ant Movie Catalog (Freeware)
Open architecture, very flexible, support for scripts - tons of import scripts available.

Catvids (shareware $ 39.95 - fully functional trial available)
An overall well designed program with a strong set of features & a well designed & configurable interface. Really fast IMDB updates!

Movie Label 2008 (shareware $ 49.95 - fully functional trial available)
Has the most features of any program in this category.
Definite overkill for those who don't want a very complex set of features + interface. Very likely overkill even for those who do want tons of features ;)
Office 2007 interface - the love it or hate it factor applies.

Eric's Movie Database [EMDB] (freeware) - [Nighted's review]
The best looking program of the bunch - a few insignificant bugs but I never lost my data to it even after extensive use (adding 100+ movies).
Only supports IMDB for online importing, very quick.
Only imports thumbnail sized covers.
Lacking certain functionality that almost every other program in this category has.
A very good choice if you want to quickly catalog your movies without too much fuss into an attractive looking app.
Sole developer + No open architecture reg. plugins, read:  if the development stops & the IMDB functionality breaks, you're screwed and will be forced to move your data to another organizer (which is possible thanks to .csv export functionality, but a pain all the same)

Movie Collector (shareware - Standard $24.95, Pro $39.95 - fully functional trial available)
A full featured, polished app and a popular favorite (read the next few posts in this thread for more info)

My Pick!
Personal Video Database (freeware)


What's to like:

 - Sole developer but open architecture - Has an SDK and plugin functionality, which means you won't be stranded even if the main  app's developement stops.

 - Fast IMDB import, includes every major field IF the user wants

 - Three views, grid, normal (flat list at the side with detailed info on the right), and tree. The tree view lets you configure its nodes and sub-nodes, for example you could have a main node for year of release and a sub-node under that for country and a sub-node under that for genre and yet another sub-node for the first alphabet of the title. There doesn't seem to be any limit to the number of sub-nodes and there are 20 fields to pick from so you can see just how powerful a categorization you can have.

 - The database includes a section for people, you can retrieve info for selected cast/crew from online sites, most other programs do not support this.

 - Preview and import (approx dvd case sized) posters and covers from several sites.

 - Imports from Excel - you can map the fields and the import order in the plug-in preferences, so the app can import data from pretty much any app that supports .csv export.

 - Threaded app - you can work on something even while it's busy online, retrieving data.

 - Support for adding custom genres - even whole new custom fields.

 - Links to physical files, lets you play the movie from within the program as long as it's on HDD or the correct media is inserted. Intelligently disables the play option if the link is inactive.

 - Customizable interface, every significant field can be shown or hidden. Fields like cast that can get rather large and occupy a lot of space can be configured to collapse inline. Layout colors can be customized.

 - Statistics (bar graph views) based on several categories

 - Amazing Ajax search  :Thmbsup: : This is possibly one of the programs best features, there's a search box in the main window, and you can search not just titles but _anything_ - directors, cast, year, description, personal comments, rating, you name it and it's there! Just use the dropdown menu to select the field you want to search and start typing and it immediately narrows down the movies listed to match the criteria. This feature is simply fabulous and no other program comes close. If that's not enough, there's also an Advance Search which lets you specifying more than one field to further narrow down the results. 
- The program is being actively developed and the author interacts in the support forums.

5 stars - a total winner! I'd recommend it even to people who haven't bothered archiving their movie collections yet.

General Software Discussion / Überwallpaper!
« on: June 15, 2007, 04:46 AM »
I know a lot of you here are too hardcore and are likely to sneer at anyone who'd willingly give away precious clockcycles to fluff like desktop wallpapers but I do like collecting a few great ones. So go ahead and post one or two of your best dt wallpapers here.

I'm partial to upbeat looking ones and larger than life ones of space that get me all tingly! I'm tried and failed miserably at hosting these on Divshare.


The anims are by a very talented French dude who's got tons of other great stuff on his site >>

I'm not talking about desktop search clients plugging into explorer, but a way to use Windows inbuilt search straight from any explorer window via a text input box. Is there any plugin that'll let me do this? 

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